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CRN Greater Manchester Core Team blog series: Clinical Directors

Martin and I are the Co-Clinical Directors for the Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester. However it is often not clear to others what we do and what the role includes. As well as being part of the CRN senior management team, we also get involved in a variety of other areas, often liaising with, coordinating and encouraging people and organisations across our patch and more broadly.

Looking at my diary from the last week or so, these include presenting at the Greater Manchester-wide NIHR Infrastructure Board (which combines the National Institute for Health and Care Research organisations and bodies in the region); liaising with some of our 31 regional specialty leads to see how things are going and ascertain what are the main inhibitors to making research in their areas broader and deeper; setting up one-to-one discussions with some Trust chief executives and similar within the universities; attending board meetings for the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre; responding to emails about issues and concerns from some of the broader research workforce; starting the process of reappointing to a vacant specialty lead post; addressing future plans for our consent-to-contact registries; and interfacing in several different ways with the CRN national body – the ‘Coordinating Centre’.

This is on top of our clinical duties (I am an infectious diseases consultant at North Manchester General Hospital and Martin a diabetes and lipid consultant at Salford Royal) and any separate, more personal, research roles and responsibilities – including other hats we wear within the NIHR and CRN.

The key area going forwards is however different - trying to structure and prepare for the combining of our network with that from CRN North West Coast, making us (from October 2024) the biggest network in England. This will come with its challenges but we are all fully committed to ensuring that we also realise the very huge potential that this brings. It will not be a seamless transition but we are spending considerable efforts to try and make it as smooth as possible, and truly appreciate all your help and assistance in achieving this.

Professor Andy Ustianowski and Professor Martin Gibson

Co-Clinical Directors

CRN Greater Manchester 

January 2024 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.